HNK Split Promotes February Events with Decorated Cat Houses Near Theater

Daniela Rogulj

Splitske Slape

February 3, 2020 – The Croatian National Theater Split (HNK Split) is using ‘cat island’ next to the official theater entrance to help promote its February events.

The citizens of Split are well aware that a few years ago, street cats began settling in the central green area next to HNK Split. Over time, they have not only taken over this green city area, so much, that is has been given the name ‘cat island’, but they’ve also won the hearts of locals and visitors alike. 

Today, Splitski Dnevnik writes that the dozen or so cats who spend their time here each day will now find shelter thanks to cat homes named in honor of the February event Bambina, which is expected to premiere on February 14, but also Romeo and Juliet, Cicibela and Roko, to cover the whole ‘month of love’.

“This is a small intervention. The first time I came to Split, I was surprised at how many cats were fed, chipped, and neutered, which is good for the theater because we have drastically fewer mice. The other thing is that a lot of tourists take photos of the cats, and many citizens feed them. It occurred to me that, following the model of Antalya, where the city services set up shelters in the places cats gather, we wanted to do a similar project. Not only will this make them more comfortable, but we can also mark the premiere of the musical Bambina in this way,” said the leader of this charity and promotional action, called ‘Homes for cats in the theater square’, intendant Srećko Šestan.


Two houses read the names Tonca and Mariana, who are characters from the Bambina musical.

“This is a small, wonderful human gesture to our little friends. I have been a member of Animal Friends for many years, and I have Frida, a well-fed pet cat at home, which is why I think it is wonderful to help the little four-legged friends of the theater this way. I am also glad that one of the homes is called ‘Bambina’, although in our play, it is the name of a tanker, so it will probably be for the biggest cat. This kind of thing makes everyone a little bit better,” said Bambina show director Krešo Dolenčić.

The seven colorful houses brightening up the square were made in a fireproof plywood theater workshop. They are intentionally not grounded, as Šestan says, hoping that the citizens of Split will respect them and not take them home.

“If someone needs a cat shelter, we will gladly make it, because they were made by our employees and painted by our painters,” concluded Šestan.

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